Make the Most of Your User Research Sessions
There are different types of user research that your team might be doing. You may be doing surveys and A/B testing to get quantitative data to test user behavior. Or you might be doing customer interviews and usability testing to get quantitative data to understand the experiences and goals of your customers.
The goal is to create products and features that are truly relevant to your users (User Research, InteractionDesign.org). That’s why we recommend that you take the time to understand how to make the most of your user research sessions. They can go a long way to helping you make the most of your product discovery needs, whilst ensuring that you can utilize the information you gain to make important product decisions.
Here are some key considerations to address with your product teams when you are doing user research.
Always be willing to learn
Firstly, make sure that your product teams are always ready to learn and to change. The most important part of good user research is to make it clear that you do not know everything about your customers. You don’t have all of the answers — nor are you expected to.
If you wish to succeed, you have to be willing to take risks that you normally wouldn’t. It’s the only way that you can learn and develop.
Always listen to customer and user feedback
Create as many channels as you can to encourage people to get in touch with you and to start providing you with feedback. Your product teams will learn as much from direct communication as they will through any learning done via surveys or A/B testing.
But, all that work to learn about your audience will mean nothing if you don’t pay attention to it.
Stop using closed questioning
A significant mistake that you could be making as a business is making people answer closed questions. When doing interviews with customers, the best thing that you can do is to start using open-ended questioning. These are far more effective, and make it much more likely that you get a fully explored answer from the person.
- Don’t ask: Do you like product X?
- Ask instead: How do you use product X?
Get in front of customers
Surveys and phone chats alone are not going to be enough. You need to sit with your key customers, or talk to them remotely through video call, and go through the process of asking them open-ended questions. Only then will you get answers you can learn from.
Focus on what customers actually do, not what they say
Ask you customer to describe experiences they’ve had, rather than asking how they accomplish specific tasks. You want to know how they actually accomplish their tasks, rather than their idealized version of it.
Never stop looking to learn more
The biggest mistake that you could make as a business is to stop learning and innovating. You should look to always get more feedback, and creating as many avenues as possible to learn about what people want and do not want.
Don’t add new features or product lines because you believe it is a good idea; add it because your user research has identified a glaring need.
Avoid falling into a trap of adding what you think people want; listen and find out what people actually want.